The situation in Ukraine gets to the core of why AFS began more than 100 years ago. We were founded by ambulance drivers who wanted to build bridges between people and create a more just and peaceful world through intercultural learning and exchange.

As leaders at helping people connect with one another despite distance or difference, we have curated a series of resources for educators, volunteers, and community members. We invite anyone to use these activities and resources to facilitate discussions and support young people as they process these current events, practice their critical thinking and media literacy, and try to confront the rise of stereotypes and prejudices.

Intercultural Resources & Toolkits

The D.I.V.E. Exercise

Used often in AFS educational activities, D.I.V.E. is designed to help individuals learn to temporarily suspend judgment and verify insights before making a final assessment about a situation or information. It can also help learners to have more effective, appropriate, and meaningful interactions with others, especially when navigating situations where they encounter something or someone who is different from them in everyday life. This practical exercise can help teachers foster critical thinking, curiosity, and suspending judgment— all considered crucial for global and intercultural competence— in their students.

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Global Thinking Routines

The Global Thinking toolkit offers tools to help nurture global thinking capacity in students. These materials and tools include a framework for teachers to become familiar with global competence and help encourage the understanding of significant global issues. They also promote taking action and helping students investigate the world beyond their immediate environment. The toolkit provides four distinct activities teachers can use to bring global thinking routines into your classroom and to share these experiences with others.

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Exploring Complexity

This resource features tools and strategies for supporting learners to explore and investigate the complexity of ideas, objects, and systems from a variety of points of view. Exploring complexity involves identifying multiple and often competing perspectives, looking closely at interacting factors, recognizing conflicting values and forces, and considering issues of power, truth, and leadership. This type of inquiry most often results in a deeper understanding of different parts, tensions, or uncertainties involved in complex situations, like the one we are living in now.

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We thank Veronica Boix Mansilla (Principal Investigator of Project Zero at the Harvard School of Education, and AFS International Board of Trustees member) for sharing the tools developed by PZ Connect, a collaboration between Project Zero and Independent Schools of Victoria (Australia).

Cultural Resources & Activities

This resource shares general information about Ukraine and its people spanning family and school life, religion, food, and friendship. This could be used a resource to help learners see the similarities between their daily lives and that of Ukrainian youth.

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For a similar resource about daily life in other countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, please visit our website, where you can learn more about our public diplomacy initiatives with this area of the world.

A list of resources to support teaching and learning about the 2022 Russia-Ukraine War is available below.

Explore IU’s Resources View Webinar

We thank the following departments at Indiana University for their expertise and contributions to make the above resources possible. IU Robert F. Byrns Russian and East European Institute, IU Center for the Study of Global Change, IU Institute for European Studies, IU School of Education (Global Education Initiatives).

Other Suggested Readings

8 Resources Teachers Are Using to Discuss Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine by Sarah Schwartz & Marina Whiteleather, Education Week

How to Talk to Kids About Ukraine by Melinda Wenner Moyer, The New York Times

How to Talk With Students About the Russia-Ukraine War: 5 Tips by Sarah Schwartz & Kevin Bushweller, Education Week

These resources are examples of how to address current events by fostering powerful dialogues on complexity and global competence. If you have more resources or would like to connect with us, please contact us at [email protected].